The situation in the Middle East seems to get worse each day but you wouldn’t know that from watching the main American networks.
I felt for sure the news Tuesday night would have led with the death of the Jordanian pilot, horrifically burned alive. His ordeal was filmed and posted on the terrorists’ website. Beheadings and, now, burnings are meant to shock and instill fear in opponents. Every pilot sent to bomb ISIS knows now what will happen if he gets shot down. Even worse punishments may lie ahead.
The lack of attention to this news may reflect a fear of copy-cat murders, at home in the US and other western countries, as much as in the Mideast. If that’s the case, the restraint is commendable.
But it may have more to do with the fact that networks are no longer sending journalists in to dangerous areas, where they could quite literally lose their heads. Additionally, it’s election time. Well, not exactly. The election is still 21 months away, but it’s already the focus of a great deal of media attention.
Another factor is that the president himself seems to be trying to ignore the ugly reality of Islamic terrorism. Or, rather, terrorism that’s not Islamic. It was fascinating to watch the recent press conference given by the president and the British prime minister. Mr. Cameron mentioned Islamic terrorism or Islamic extremism more than once, while the president could not bring himself to use the “I” word.
While the burning alive of the pilot seems to have failed to wake up the media in the United States, it’s turning into a game changer in the Middle East. Jordanians, divided over support for the US led coalition against ISIS, are now rallying around their king, calling for vengeance. The Egyptian Foreign Minister, interviewed on Sky News, said the incident has galvanized support across the region for the total defeat of ISIS. The terror group threatens upheaval across the entire Middle East and overseas.